Humint Events Online: February 2017

Monday, February 27, 2017

84th Anniversary of the Reichstag Fire

On February 27, 1933 the German Parliament building burned, Adolf Hitler rejoiced, and the Nazi era began.
Hitler, who had just been named head of a government that was legally formed after the democratic elections of the previous November, seized the opportunity to change the system. “There will be no mercy now,” he exulted. “Anyone standing in our way will be cut down.”
The next day, at Hitler’s advice and urging, the German president issued a decree “for the protection of the people and the state.” It deprived all German citizens of basic rights such as freedom of expression and assembly and made them subject to “preventative detention” by the police.
A week later, the Nazi party, having claimed that the fire was the beginning of a major terror campaign by the Left, won a decisive victory in parliamentary elections. Nazi paramilitaries and the police then began to arrest political enemies and place them in concentration camps.
Shortly thereafter, the new parliament passed an “enabling act” that allowed Hitler to rule by decree. After 1933, the Nazi regime made use of a supposed threat of terrorism against Germans from an imaginary international Jewish conspiracy.
After five years of repressing Jews, in 1938 the German state began to deport them. On October 27 of that year, the German police arrested about 17,000 Jews from Poland and deported them across the Polish border.
A young man named Herschel Grynszpan, sent to Paris by his parents, received a desperate postcard from his sister after his family was forced across the Polish border. He bought a gun, went to the German embassy, and shot a German diplomat. He called this an act of revenge for the suffering of his family and his people.
Nazi propagandists presented it as evidence of an international Jewish conspiracy preparing a terror campaign against the entire German people. Josef Goebbels used it as the pretext to organize the events we remember as Kristallnacht, a massive national pogrom of Jews that left hundreds dead.
The Reichstag fire shows how quickly a modern republic can be transformed into an authoritarian regime. There is nothing new, to be sure, in the politics of exception. The American Founding Fathers knew that the democracy they were creating was vulnerable to an aspiring tyrant who might seize upon some dramatic event as grounds for the suspension of our rights. As James Madison nicely put it, tyranny arises “on some favorable emergency.”
What changed with the Reichstag fire was the use of terrorism as a catalyst for regime change. To this day, we do not know who set the Reichstag fire: the lone anarchist executed by the Nazis or, as new scholarship by Benjamin Hett suggests, the Nazis themselves. What we do know is that it created the occasion for a leader to eliminate all opposition.
In 1989, two centuries after our Constitution was promulgated, the man who is now our president wrote that “civil liberties end when an attack on our safety begins.”

For much of the Western world, that was a moment when both security and liberty seemed to be expanding. 1989 was a year of liberation, as communist regimes came to an end in eastern Europe and new democracies were established. Yet that wave of democratization has since fallen under the glimmering shadow of the burning Reichstag.
The aspiring tyrants of today have not forgotten the lesson of 1933: that acts of terror—real or fake, provoked or accidental—can provide the occasion to deal a death blow to democracy.
(snip) In this respect, the Bush administration’s reaction to the September 11, 2001 attacks was not as awful as it might have been. To be sure, 9/11 was used to justify the vast expansion of NSA spying and the torture of foreign detainees. It also became the specious pretext for an ill-considered invasion of Iraq that killed hundreds of thousands of people, spread terrorism throughout the Middle East, and ended the American century.
But at least the Bush administration did not claim that Muslims as a whole were responsible, nor try to change the basic rules of the political game in the United States. Had it done so, and succeeded, we might already today be living in a post-democratic country. If we know the history of terror manipulation, we can recognize the danger signs, and be prepared to react.
It is already worrying that the president speaks unfavorably of democracy, while admiring foreign manipulators of terror. It is also of concern that the administration speaks of terrorist attacks that never took place, whether in Bowling Green or Sweden, while banning citizens from seven countries that have never been tied to any attack in the United States. It is alarming that in a series of catastrophic executive policy decisions—the president’s Muslim travel ban, his selection of Steve Bannon as his main political adviser, his short-lived appointment of Michael Flynn as national security adviser, his proposal to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem—there seems to be a single common element: the stigmatization and provocation of Muslims. In rhetoric and action, the Trump administration has aggrandized “radical Islamic terror” thus making what Madison called a “favorable emergency” more likely.
It is the government’s job to promote both freedom and safety. If we face again a terrorist attack—or what seems to be a terrorist attack, or what the government calls a terrorist attack—we must hold the Trump administration responsible for our security. In that moment of fear and grief, when the pulse of politics might suddenly change, we must also be ready to mobilize for our constitutional rights. The Reichstag fire has long been an example for tyrants; it should today be a warning for citizens. It was the burning of the Reichstag that disabused Hannah Arendt of the “opinion that one can simply be a bystander.” Best to learn that now, rather than waiting for the flames.

How fucked up is it that the Trump administration is making the bush administration look good???
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Monday, February 20, 2017

Trump's Maniacal Attack on the Free Press

On Friday, Trump -- in the wake of a remarkably rambling 77-minute press conference and bombshell revelations about the incoming administration's dealings with Russia -- took to Twitter to lash out at the media in generally and specifically at the New York Times, CNN, ABC, NBC, and CBS, branding them as "enemies of the American people."

There are obvious problems with the news media, that have been discussed endlessly, but they are NOT the enemy of the people in the way Trump means. A free, open, vibrant press is critical to our general freedom.

My problems with the corporate press are:
1) they obviously censor and help up cover up cries perpetrated by the govt such as 9/11
2) they are too pro-corporate, too pro-government power, too capitalistic, too pro-war
3) they have a double standard in covering conservatives and liberals, favoring conservatives largely because of the reasons in #2 above.

So, Trump hasn't bothered to use his bully pulpit to expose any deep truths or uncover truths like 9/11 or even things like Sandy Hook. Trump is obviously pro-government power and pro-corporation and pro-war.  He's a Republican, who the press typically gives wide deference too. Thus, Trump's attack on the press has nothing to do with the clear problems of the press. His attack is really because of self-interest and because the press is critical of HIM. Trump also equates an attack on himself as an attack on the people of America, which is grotesque and self-serving. His whole attack on the media is frankly disgusting and is probably an attempt to forestall the really bad news that will come out sooner or later on his Russian dealings and probable treason.

Here's how JFK thought of the press. A REAL president of the people.
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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Trump Worries: Small to Big

Trump family’s elaborate lifestyle is a ‘logistical nightmare’ — at taxpayer expense: his security is VERY expensive. Yet another way he's scamming us, since he gets some of the $ from security.

How the Trump campaign used social media and sophisticated artificial intelligence algorithms to target voters.

Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence

Trump's (and Putin's) Plan to Dissolve the EU and NATO.

Trump advisor Steve Bannon is very creepy, he believes the Apocalypse is coming and War is Inevitable
Kaiser was impressed by how much Bannon knew about Strauss and Howe, who argued that American history operates in four-stage cycles that move from major crisis to awakening to major crisis. These crises are called “Fourth Turnings” — and Bannon believed the U.S. had entered one on Sept. 18, 2008, when Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke went to Capitol Hill to ask for a bailout of the international banking system. “He knew the theory,” Kaiser said. “He obviously enjoyed interviewing me.” Bannon pressed Kaiser on one point during the interview. “He was talking about the wars of the Fourth Turnings,” Kaiser recalled. “You have the American Revolution, you have the Civil War, you have World War II; they’re getting bigger and bigger.
Clearly, he was anticipating that in this Fourth Turning there would be one at least as big. And he really made an effort, I remember, to get me to say that on the air.” Kaiser didn’t believe global war was preordained, so he demurred. The line of questioning didn’t make it into the documentary — a polemical piece, released in 2010, called “Generation Zero.”
Bannon, who’s now ensconced in the West Wing as President Donald Trump’s closest adviser, has been portrayed as Trump’s main ideas guy.
But in interviews, speeches and writing — and especially in his embrace of Strauss and Howe — he has made clear that he is, first and foremost, an apocalypticist.
In Bannon’s view, we are in the midst of an existential war, and everything is a part of that conflict. Treaties must be torn up, enemies named, culture changed.
Global conflagration, should it occur, would only prove the theory correct.
For Bannon, the Fourth Turning has arrived. The Grey Champion, a messianic strongman figure, may have already emerged. The apocalypse is now. “What we are witnessing,” Bannon told The Washington Post last month, “is the birth of a new political order.”

And, to the biggest worry:

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Friday, February 17, 2017

The GOP Has a History of Treason

Did Trump collude with the Russians to get elected president?

I suspect he did, but of course there's no solid proof right now. There is a LOT of circumstantial evidence that Trump is in bed with the Russians, in particular the PEE-OTUS dossier.  

That would be treason, and a HUGE scandal, of course. In a normal time, it would force Trump out of office. But these are not normal times by any stretch of the imagination.

In any case, my guess is Trump or one of his people did and Trump knew-- unfortunately the press and PTB will probably cover up the worst of it.


Because that is what they did for Nixon, who treacherously colluded with the North Vietnamese in 1968.

That is also what they did with Reagan, who treacherously colluded with the Iranians in 1980.

The GOP is evil all the way around.


On a related point, this is just so freaking perfect and highlights an issue that is personally maddening to me.

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Disinformation Watch

You can't make this stuff up.

The comments to the tweet are quite fun...
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The President Is a Blithering Idiot

Also, he's a delusional, narcissistic, ignorant, racist, old asshole.


By the way-- nuclear holocausts are bad! They are the worst! Who would have thunk it!

A comedic take:


And, yeah, he's got a point:
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Monday, February 13, 2017

On How Infowars Became a Ridiculous Trump Fan Site

Interesting piece in the MSM (emphases added):
Depending on who you talk to, Kurt Nimmo, a former editor for Infowars, left the conspiracy-peddling website after being a demonstrably lazy staffer—or he was fired in a sudden and acrimonious manner by the site’s red-faced major-domo, Alex Jones. But the real story, whatever it is, is only slightly less muddy than the fever swamps through which its writers trudge each day to deliver stories about Lady Gaga’s satanic Super Bowl performance and the imminent assassination of President Donald Trump.
Nimmo told The Daily Beast this week that he joined Infowars in 2008 and “rebuilt the website.” He left the publication in July 2016, and has since been working for NewsBud, a site run by the conspiratorially minded whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. Nimmo also periodically writes for his own blog, entitled Another Day in the Empire.
Since his exit, Nimmo has noticed the general framework and voice of the site shift into becoming essentially a pro-Trump propaganda outfit—something that he perceives as an abandonment of Infowars’ initial focus on the “New World Order,” or as Jones would call it, the establishment. I disagree with Alex Jones on Donald Trump,” Nimmo said in an email to The Daily Beast. “I believe Donald Trump is an enabler of crony capitalism, the same as his predecessor. I also believe he will not end the wars started by Bush and continued by Obama. I cannot support a man who will further war and murder. Alex Jones has more or less ignored this and considers Trump a patriot and a defender of the Constitution. This is clearly wrong.”
Jones’s turn as the anguished, chest-thumping id to the president’s ego has been well-documented in the 2016 election. Trump has even appeared on Infowars for an interview with Jones and praised the rage-filled radio host’s reputation as “amazing.” And even now, after he made it to the highest office in the land, Trump’s longtime friend and former adviser Roger Stone often hosts Infowars and credits it in part for helping Trump make it to the Oval Office.
Nimmo doesn’t see the Trump fandom as an asset in any sense—but rather a tacit endorsement of war crimes and he speculates that his disagreement with the Trump agenda could have contributed to his axing. “Support for Trump also means supporting waterboarding, killing the families of suspected terrorists, squandering trillions more on a bloated military, supporting Israel despite its crimes against humanity, omitting Saudi Arabia from the list of terrorist states, and further militarizing police in the U.S.,” Nimmo told The Daily Beast. “Alex Jones previously opposed most of these things, with the exception of Israel, which he has refused to criticize.
Nimmo also takes issue with the content produced by Paul Joseph Watson, the stubble-faced British video-blogger and writer for the site who goes by @PrisonPlanet on Twitter. During the 2016 election, Watson pushed stories about untrue allegations that Hillary Clinton had brain damage and he has become a favorite of the “alt-right” for his popular videos declaring that “Islam Is Not a Religion of Peace.” He was also recently duped into publishing a false story about the imminent release of a video showing Trump saying the “N” word.
“If we are to judge Paul Joseph Watson by his editorials and tweets, he is an Islamophobe little different than Geert Wilders or Pamela Geller,” Nimmo said, referring to the Dutch politician and the writer who both share anti-Islam sentiments. “He has embraced the alt-right philosophy on Islam. I disagree with this. The United States government and the military-industrial complex are far more threatening to our liberty than a gaggle of crazy Islamists, many supported by the CIA and Saudi Arabia.”
While they’ve rarely worked in the same physical space, ironically enough Nimmo credits Watson for being the person who got him his job at Infowars. “He did more or less get me the job in 2008, he recommended me to Alex Jones after reading my blog,” Nimmo told The Daily Beast. “Not sure what this has to do with anything. He wasn’t claiming back then Islam would destroy the world. In fact, he wrote radical jihadis were created by the CIA and British intelligence. Guess he doesn’t talk about that much anymore.”
In the past few months, Nimmo has vocalized his disdain for the current version of Infowars, calling Jones a “snake oil salesman” and referring to the outlet as “infotrump” on Twitter. After The Daily Beast made Watson aware of these criticisms from the former employee, he lashed out at Nimmo in an email. “So the criticisms are we sell products to fund ourselves (the horror),” Watson wrote in an email to The Daily Beast, referring to the “Super Male Vitality” product among others on the site’s store. 
Nimmo claimed that the animus was coming from the fact that “they’re scared shitless” of the Food and Drug Administration examining the supplements sold on the site. And there’s another thing, according to Nimmo. He wasn’t axed because he did a bad job.
(A letter) confirmed that Nimmo was terminated after he moved. Jones has not responded to requests for comment via email or text message. “I don’t know if revealing this is part of the confidentially agreement, but I cannot consent to Watson lying about it,” Nimmo continued. “I was told by other former employees he was also angry about my repeated requests for health-care insurance. My wife and I are in our mid-60s and I find it unconscionable for a multimillion-dollar operation not to provide health insurance for employees. I merely do not wish for the article to say I was let go due to poor work performance.”

Nimmo certainly seems WAY more reasonable here than the others who are still there. I guess he was too much of a lefty or hippie for the uber-right-wing crank Jones.
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Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Poor Webster Tarpley Has to Settle Melania Trump Lawsuit

First lady Melania Trump has settled her defamation lawsuit against a Maryland blogger, who agreed to apologize to the Trump family and pay her a “substantial sum,” her lawyers said in a statement they released Tuesday morning.
“I posted an article on August 2, 2016 about Melania Trump that was replete with false and defamatory statements about her,” the blogger, Webster Tarpley, said in the statement provided by Trump’s attorneys.
Tarpley, 71 of Gaithersburg, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. One of his attorneys, Danielle D. Giroux, confirmed that a settlement had been reached. The blogger’s article in August, reported about unfounded rumors that Melania Trump once worked as an escort. Trump’s attorneys at the firm of Harder, Mirell & Abrams based in Beverly Hills, declined to provide the settlement amount.
“I had no legitimate factual basis to make these false statements and I fully retract them,” according to comments attributed to Tarpley by the Trump attorneys in their statement. “I acknowledge that these false statements were very harmful and hurtful to Mrs. Trump and her family, and therefore I sincerely apologize to Mrs. Trump, her son, her husband and her parents for making these false statements.”
Melania Trump also has sued the online Daily Mail, which published a similar article in August. A Maryland judge this month tossed out that litigation — which like the Tarpley claims were filed in Montgomery County — based on jurisdictional issues. Trump’s attorneys provided a copy of the refiled lawsuit they said they entered in New York state court. Trump attended a hearing in December on the case at a courtroom in Rockville.

Hmm, weird to call historian and author Tarpley a "blogger". I've generally liked his work and he's a very smart guy. Also odd that he gets blamed for this widely circulated story. I also can't imagine how he would have enough money to pay this off.

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Alex Jones Is Ready to Die for Trump

Seriously, he just couldn't get more insane, idiotic and gross.

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Sunday, February 05, 2017

US White Supremacists Now Given Free Rein to Commit Terror

This is for groups outside the govt:
The Trump administration wants to revamp and rename a U.S. government program designed to counter all violent ideologies so that it focuses solely on Islamist extremism, five people briefed on the matter told Reuters.
The program, "Countering Violent Extremism," or CVE, would be changed to "Countering Islamic Extremism" or "Countering Radical Islamic Extremism," the sources said, and would no longer target groups such as white supremacists who have also carried out bombings and shootings in the United States.

As well as white supremacists in the govt:
Official FBI guidelines acknowledge that white supremacists and right-wing extremists have infiltrated U.S. law enforcement agencies, according to a classified 2015 counterterrorism policy guide obtained by The Intercept. “Domestic terrorism investigations focused on militia extremists, white supremacist extremists, and sovereign citizen extremists often have identified active links to law enforcement officers,” the guide, which explains how individuals qualify for inclusion on a terrorism watchlist, reads, according to The Intercept.
While the FBI has been aware of this infiltration for some time and raised concerns in a 2006 internal assessment, federal agencies have been wary of discussing the issue publicly. Former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano even disavowed a 2009 intelligence study warning of the “resurgence” of far-right extremists sparked by President Barack Obama’s election, as The Intercept noted.
Daryl Johnson, the lead researcher on the 2009 DHS report who was pushed out of the agency, told The Intercept that he was deeply disappointed by DHS’ decision to shrink the unit investigating right-wing extremists. “Federal law enforcement agencies in general—the FBI, the Marshals, the ATF — are aware that extremists have infiltrated state and local law enforcement agencies and that there are people in law enforcement agencies that may be sympathetic to these groups,” he said.
The Oath Keepers and Constitutional Sheriffs Associations, both anti-government groups, actively recruit current and former law enforcement officers. An Oregon sheriff who belonged to the latter group supported the efforts of the armed militants who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for more than a month in early 2016.
Last October, a Maryland police officer was suspended after a woman circulated a photo she took of an Oath Keepers hat displayed in his squad car. According to The Intercept, police officers determined to have close ties to white supremacist, militia or sovereign citizen groups can end up on the terrorism watchlist as “silent hits.” That allows the FBI to secretly monitor them, as they are not publicly identified as known or suspected terrorists in the national crime database that is accessible to law enforcement agencies.

So it's double-plus good if you're a white supremacist who wants to commit violent acts -- you won't be investigated and you can even work from the inside now.

Speaking of which, Stephen Bannon's appointment in the WH is quite disturbing:
Process is crucial to factual accuracy, ideological neutrality and operational efficacy—and that’s precisely why Trump’s presidential memorandum inserting Bannon, a political adviser, into the NSC Principals Committee is disturbing to so many (the technical phrase, courtesy of former national security adviser Susan Rice, is “stone cold crazy”). The change strikes fear in us because it is a formalization, at the NSC level, of what we just witnessed with the drafting and issuing of the immigration order: the wrong people calling the shots and the wrong people being left out. And let’s dispense with the shoptalk in favor of real candor: we are not this upset simply because the national security adviser is sitting in that seat—as unusual and inadvisable as it may be, past presidents have in the past used all sorts of configurations to customize their use of the NSC and Principals Committee. What truly has us jumping up and down is that the man sitting in that seat is Stephen Bannon. This is not an overreaction.
We are living in an age when Reddit has taken it upon itself to ban an alt-right group from its megaforum, but the White House is allegedly being run by the man responsible for building the biggest alt-right platform in the world.
I woke up Sunday to David Rothkopf’s warning in the Washington Post that Bannon’s addition to the NSC could pose, in the long term, more dangerous consequences for our national security than Trump’s immigration order. But given the president’s broad discretion when it comes to NSC meetings, and more importantly, given that Bannon’s fingerprints are all over the immigration order—both what’s in it and how it was issued—we should focus not on which edict is worse but on the total continuity between them. Both evince the administration’s anti-professional approach to security decisions of the utmost magnitude. And many in the national security community are rightly frightened.
I believe deepening that fright is the apparent gap between how so much of the national security community feels and how our lawmakers are behaving. Almost nothing Trump had done is at odds with the person and president he promised to be on the campaign trail. This is true, too, of his top advisers. And yet from the outset, denial has been the favored approach of several prominent legislators. In November, when civil rights groups and commentators on both sides of the aisle sounded the alarm about Bannon’s appointment, Rand Paul and others insisted on “giv[ing] the guy a chance.” We don’t have reason to think he is personally racist, their argument went, notwithstanding the concededly horrific material he had built his professional career disseminating and his numerous personal statements endorsing ideology repugnant to American values.
This line of argument is most disingenuous because it ignores the very talent for which Bannon was explicitly recruited by the Trump campaign: he is a strategy professional with an astonishingly successful track record in reality distortion. As I emphasized in November: “Bannon’s website, Breitbart, is not a vacuous hate site, as is so often suggested. Breitbart is a carefully honed platform, and its clear and consistent approach to communicating the alt-right messaging on national security issues should give policy experts and principled politicians pause.”  

So, strange and creepy times indeed.

So, the trillion dollar questions are:

1) are Bannon et al planning a false flag terror attack to be blamed on Muslims, that is run by their white supremacist pals? 

2) what is the end-game for Bannon et al? Some sort of genocide of non-whites?
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If You Think 9/11 Was an Inside Job But Support Trump's Muslim Ban

... you might have cognitive dissonance.

Sadly, I know people like this.

Alex Jones used to think 9/11 was an inside job, but what's his view of it now, since he is a prime Trump cheerleader?
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